Thursday, April 29, 2010

Friday Blooms

At this point, it's been quite fun having new blooms opening every few days.  I am once again linking in to Tootsie's Fertilizer Friday/Flaunt your Flowers.  Her link is in my sidebar.

I'm tickled to have more iris blooming.  This is one my daughter-in-law gave me last summer.

I love the color given by the tulips in my newest planting area, even though they are about finished.  I like the way I planted groups of 3 daylilies, then put a tulip in the middle of each group.  By the time the tulip foliage is faded, the daylilies will take up the space nicely.

I've shown a close up of this perennial geranium, but now that it's full, I want to show it, because I think this is my favorite geranium right now.  I figured out the name is Geranium phaeum 'Samobor' when I saw it at a plant sale last week.  I probably got it from the same sale last year.

Several coral bells are starting to bloom, but I couldn't get a good photo of them.

I am enjoying the combination of the creeping phlox, woodland phlox, sweet woodruff, the seedheads forming on the pasque flowers, and the green of plants not yet blooming.

Here's a closer vew of the blooms and seedheads of the pasque flowers.

I was thinking this plant was called water spot, but didn't find it when I did a search.  I'll have to ask the friend who gave it to me a couple years ago.

This is what the leaves and unopened flowers look like.  Can you see why it has a name that's something like water spot?

The lovage blooms are filling out nicely.

This is the first columbine to bloom this year.  It is one that I transplanted from a spot I didn't want it a few weeks ago.  I'll have to deadhead it so the roots can develop more so it can live over the winter.

This is the first allium to open.  Well, it's almost open!

I love the scent of stocks, and usually buy them as plants.

I can't remember who asked me how I like the scent of the Mohawk viburnum blooms.  I went out and put my nose right up to them, and found they did not have a very nice odor.   They didn't last so long, either.  The berries will look nice if I keep them this year.  I may cut them off, because the stem they are on is taller than the rest on the plant.

Hey, Tootsie, I figured out I need to just put a link to my blog on your post, because last week, I ended up reposting the link to my April 8th post.  LOL  Have a great weekend everyone!

Monday, April 26, 2010

It's Tuesday!

I have some blooms to post for MsGreen"thumb"jean's Bloomin' Tuesday.  I just posted a short one about verbenia bonariensis this evening, but see that Jean has opened her link to posts, so I am going to go ahead and put this up and get on her link.  Click here or scroll down to see the post on verbena and talking to plants.

It's cold and rainy.  I'm looking forward to the 70s they say are coming in a few days.  I hope you all are enjoying the beauty of spring.

Awhile back, I posted a photo of this bergenia in bud, thinking that was the bloom, then, I posted it when the buds opened.  Now, sections of blooms have separated from each other.  What a fun plant!  I'm thinking maybe my other 2 aren't going to bloom this year.  I hope they all do next year.

After seeing primroses on other's blogs, I found a couple that asked to come home with me.  The tag says, "Primula Auricula Mix".

These are a dianthus or sweet William of some kind.  They bloomed all summer last year, and are getting started on their 3rd season in the garden.  There are 2 blooms open so far.

These lovely irises are some of those I dug out from a yard where the house was about to be torn down.  These are the first of that group to bloom  They smell wonderful!

I can't remember what this little groundcover is.  I don't let it go too far, because it's on the edge of one of my side yard flower beds.

I need to plant more violas in the ground.  These have more blooms on them than those in pots.

These are the first photos I've posted this year on the woodland phlox blooming.  I am tickled that I have 2 clumps besides the ones that have lived in a washtub ever since we moved here 12 years ago.

What I think is dwarf comfrey has lots more blooms than when I first posted.

The Latest Thing I said to my Plants

Do you talk to your plants?  I have become more aware of the fact I do.  I recently talked to some perennial vinca at work that was just planted last fall, saying how proud I was that it's blooming already.  Some folks who heard it thought it was funny.  If no one had heard me, I probably would not have thought anything of it.

Here's a photo of a few seedlings that were sown by last year's verbena bonariensis plants.  I thought I'd share the last thing that came out of my mouth when I discovered them.   I said, "Welcome to the party!  Do you have some friends that are on their way?"  I'm sure they do.  I usually have to pull some of them up or give some away so they and other plants in the area have room to grow.  They do stay pulled, so are not invasive.  They are actually perennials in warmer zones.  Once in awhile, I've had one live over a winter.

Here's an August 2009 photo of one of the plants that I let grow in the veggie garden near some cucumbers.

Verbena bonariensis grows well in a full or cottage garden, because it is tall and wispy, and doesn't take over the space belonging to other plants.  It can also be trimmed if you want to limit where it goes. 

The main thing I love is that butterflies feed on the blooms.  These 2 photos were taken last September.

This is a skipper of some kind, that I probably have posted before.

I may have shown this Painted Lady, too.  I am so excited for a new season, and hope to see more butterflies than last year.

I know I have said other things to a variety of plants, and have told my new bed how tickled I am that everything is up and doing so well.  What have you said to your plants or gardens lately?

Friday, April 23, 2010

Blooms for another Friday

I don't remember planting this.  I had started to ask for help identifying it, then looked up ajuga, and think it's adjuga reptans.  The leaves look a little different, but the blooms look the same to me.  I'm assuming these stems sticking out all over are looking for soil to take root in.  I have some chocolate chip ajuga that I decided not to plant after finding out it's poisonous, and now this has popped up.  I'll have to figure out what to do with this, as it's right at our grandson's level.

Here is a closer photo of the blooms.

I have had these in a washtub in the back yard for a couple years or so, and asked for the ID last year, but don't remember if I got it.  I'm thinking it's a wildflower or a weed.

I did a search to figure out what my smaller comfrey with blue blooms is called, and all I could find was dwarf comfrey.  The photos did not show blue flowers, but maybe there are different kinds of it.  I moved this plant to this location a couple weeks ago, and it doesn't seem to mind.

I've shown the Prairie Smoke geum already, but it wasn't as full of blooms, and this is a better photo.

I just spent some time digging out the tags that I had in the house for my perennial geraniums, but I don't think I found this one.  It was small when I planted it last year.  I'm glad to see that it survived winter and has grown and is beginning to bloom.  I love the foliage on it.

I can't remember the name of this geranium, either, but it bloomed spring through fall last year.

This one, I just planted this year.  It' is 'Visions'.

This is 'Orkney Cherry'.  I just planted it this year, too.

The lilies of the valley have lots of buds and a few open blooms.  I didn't notice the insect on this one until I saw the photo.

Here's one of my favorites of the pansies that are just beginning to bloom.  I have some in the front, and some to greet us just out the back door.

To see more blooms or post yours, go see Tootsie, from Tootsie Times, as she hosts Flaunt Your Flowers/Fertilizer Friday.  Her button is in my sidebar.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Kale Bud Salad

Normally, we are in the full swing of picking lettuce by now, but so far, I've just had a few thinnings.  It was a bit wet to thin today, so I picked some kale leaves and flower buds, which I discovered taste good while grazing in the garden.  My eyes landed on some violet leaves and blooms, and I thought they would go well with the kale.  Then, when I glanced into my herb garden, I saw the salad burnett, which I frequently forget to use in the spring, when it's at its best.  I added some of those leaves to my harvest, and had myself a yummy nutritious salad, with Brianna's Home Style blue cheese dressing.  I splurge on that brand because it has healthy oils in it, and no soy, which our daughter is allergic to.  I also thinned some dill that is coming up quite thick, to put on our fish.

Of course, I had to take some photos.  It's exciting to be eating from the garden!

I hope you are getting some outside time in!   I am hoping for some warmer temps soon.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Paying attention to the Veggie Gardens

I've been so busy reworking my flower beds, that I've neglected the vegetable gardens a bit.  Tina (and Skeeter?)  from In the Garden host a vegetable garden update the third Wednesday of the month.  It used to be the 20th, so I went out the evening of the 19th, did some weeding, then took over a hundred photos of my 2 vegetable gardens.  I didn't get all of the weeding done, but look forward to getting back at it.

Here's the entrance to the home veggie garden.  I didn't plant the lemon balm that's growing to the right of the stone, but have been letting stay there, pulling some to keep it from spreading.  That looks like garlic next to it.   I'll have to look when I go back out.  Some perennial sweet peas are coming up on the left side of the entrance.  They have been getting a disease the last couple of years, so I'm going to try harder to keep them thinned out.  The violets that took over the butter and eggs need to be thinned, but are blooming.

I like to grow a variety of lettuces, both blends and individual types.  Radishes, bachelor buttons, and such are coming up, too.  This is facing east from the entrance of the garden.  There was a cover over these, but I didn't have time to look for my other 2, so I put it on my peas across the street because the rabbits were eating them.  I've found that 2 of rabbits' favorite foods are romaine lettuce and young pea plants.  They will eat any kind of lettuce and size of plant, but these 2 seem high on their list, and the peas don't usually recover, because they eat all of the plant.

This is facing west from the entrance.  The potatoes in the first section aren't up yet, but a few beets are.

These peas have been found by the rabbits, too, but there aren't as many, so I may have to replant or put something else there.  This is the third year for the kale.   It's loaded with flower buds.  I've been picking them and munching on them.  I've discovered they are sweeter than the rest of the plant.  Yum!  Oh, and this is the area I let some violets grow.

I grew asparagus for a number of years.  I didn't fertilize it much, and most or all of them were female, so the spears were quite thin.  We rarely had enough for a meal.  I bought some Jersey Hybrid plants to put across the street, but the soil was on the hard side, so I planted 10 there, and put 10 here. 

None across the street are up, but there are 2 coming up here.  I could not get a good photo, but wanted to include this little sweetie, anyway.  It will grow up into a nice plant that I'll enjoy until the bed is old enough to harvest from.

This lettuce reseeded from last year, I guess.  I don't let many plants go to seed, but seem to recall letting some on purpose last year.  Maybe I'll let a couple of these do that, too.

This is the wildish area in front of the compost.  Garlic, hollyhocks, larkspur, and weeds compete for space.  I have a stick pile for butterfly shelter in the corner.

I need some more green stuff for the compost piles.  The dug out grass is from our neighbor's yard.

In another wild spot, are rhubarb, more garlic and weeds, and to the right, not in the photo, a lily, Russian sage, and more sweet pea wrangle with each other next to the compost area.

When you turn around from the previous area, you see kale from last year, onions, lettuce, larkspur, and spinach.

Further to the east, are some volunteer cilantro plants I've used from a few times.  They are pretty tasty.  The weather has been cool enough that they aren't bolting, so far.

I have much of the space across the street planted already.

I put Tithonia seed heads all over this area.  I hope they come up.  The monarchs loved them last year.  There are also onions, parsley, and kale in the area to the right.  I have some perennials near the trees, and behind them, are strawberries.

I bought too many potatoes, and ended up planting some in one of the areas I had some last year.  I'll have to be more careful next year.  I did a better job leaving room to hill them, though.  This is facing south.

Here are the peas the rabbits were eating on under protection.  I posted last year about what this is called, but don't remember now.  There are spaces where the rabbits ate whole plants.

This is facing north.  It's hard to see the lettuce coming up.  There are onions coming up that had gotten shredded by the birds last year.  I'm assuming we need to use them as green onions, because they will bloom instead of forming a bulb.

Heading further east, are the 2 rows of potatoes that are not where any were last year, and the row of asparagus.  Larry tilled the area between the wheelbarrow and compost pile.  I usually only till an area once, then the soil stays workable after adding compost, and sometimes bags of composted manure or peat moss.  I think I'll plant tomatoes and peppers there.

The area by the neighbors' fence is where I planted some bushes and perennials.  I need to add more flowers to fill it up.

This is Chardonnay pearls deutzia getting ready to bloom.

I think this is snowball viburnum, but my memory isn't the best.  I love the crinkly leaves.  I better hurry up and find out how to prune these bushes.

I think this is the mock orange.

This is Mohawk viburnum.  I don't know if I should keep these blooms or not.  It's not shaped very nicely.  I suppose I should cut it back.

Maybe I'll wait until the blooms have opened a few days.  Maybe I'll look into it and find out what the best thing is for the bush.  If you know, and have the time, you can let me know in a comment.

I hope you are finding time for your veggie gardens!